It was a bit of a head-scratcher.
The City of Revelstoke has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a concept design for the proposed new home of the Revelstoke Tourist Information Centre. The RFP asks for designs for a building to be located in the parking lot right next to Grizzly Plaza, right next to the Canadian Avalanche Centre building.
But according to the city, the location of the building has not yet been decided. It will house the tourism centre as well as the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce, the Revelstoke Community Futures Development Corporation and the city’s economic development department.
At their June 21 meeting, both mayor David Raven and CAO Tim Palmer alluded to ongoing, behind-closed-doors discussions, and deferred questions about the status of the proposed building. “I do sense we’ve got to do some research,” Raven said at the meeting. Palmer added he wasn’t comfortable speaking about the matter in the public portion of the meeting.
They were discussing a letter of concern from the city’s enhancement committee. The May 24 letter signed by committee chair Toni Johnston expressed concern about a presentation the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce had made about plans for a building at the location.
The committee is concerned about parking, heritage aesthetics and values, giving up city property and the scale of the building, amongst other concerns.
During question period, mayor Raven deferred questions about the building, saying the issue was about to be discussed in the ‘in camera’ portion of the meeting, which is not open to the public.
That the new building is being planned is no secret — it has been the subject of stories in the Times Review before. However, the location hadn’t been settled. The privately-owned empty lot on Victoria Road right next to Pharmasave was also being considered.
Following the meeting, economic development director Alan Mason said the item had been released from confidentiality restrictions and he was now free to talk about it.
He said council worked through issues relating to previous commitments to use the lot for the building.
Mason explained that the design RFP was issued because it would allow the city to put a price-tag on the building. Knowing the cost would help them decide which location to choose.
There has been no RFP for the other location because that proposed location would involve a building that was designed and built by the owner of the lot, whom Mason identified as Fred Beruschi.
Mason also explained there had been some difficulties with the initial RFP. It had run afoul of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia. Basically, it was big enough that it required the design services of an architect, so the RFP had to be re-jigged.
Mason also noted that the lots on either side of Grizzly Plaza were city-owned and both were being considered as a possible location.